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Orlando Stadium
06/04/2011 20:00

Bucs beat Birds to go top

Posted: 6 April 2011 Time: 22:06

Orlando Pirates are back on top of the League standings after a 2-0 win against Moroka Swallows on Wednesday evening.

Dikgang Mabalane continued his impressive return from long-term injury by scoring both goals early in the match.

With Ajax Cape Town and Mamelodi Sundowns drawing 4-4 in Atteridgeville, Bucs took full advantage of their two title rivals dropping points and now lead the standings on goal-difference ahead of the Urban Warriors.

The Birds, meanwhile, remain in the relegation play-off spot (15th), missing out on the chance to leapfrog Maritzburg United, who were thumped 4-1 by Free State Stars earlier in the day.

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Pirates got off to a flyer thanks to the two early goals from Mabalane. The winger had netted a goal in a weekend cup win over United FC, his first appearance after a long injury lay-off, and he continued his form against the Birds, beating Greg Etafia with a well-struck drive from just outside the area.

And seven minutes later the hosts sent their winger free on goal – he coolly waited for Etafia to go to ground before chipping it over the keeper to net his second.

Swallows’ best chance to before the break arrived in the 38th minute when Siyabonga Nomvete fired in a low shot, only for Senzo Meyiwa to make a fine save. Left Tsutsulupa was first to the rebound, but he failed to direct his shot on target.

The second half saw few scoring chances for either team, with Pirates seemingly content to sit on their lead. The Birds’ best effort came from Oscar Machapa in the 74th minute, with the Zimbabwean driving a fierce long-range shot just wide.

Both Thulasizwe Mbuyane and substitute Katlego Mashego had chances to do so in the dying minutes, but they both scooped their shots over the crossbar.

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